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Challenge Summary

Welcome to AppXpress - Reinforce the Source Design Concepts Challenge!

In this challenge we are looking for your best UI designs and concepts to design an online tool that will help state drinking water programs exchange critical information on drinking water contaminants. The tool will be an online library for sharing water contaminant information with state regulators, organizations, and the general public. We are looking for your ideas, concepts, and your best solutions to solve the problem and goals of the challenge. Show us your best designs!

Round 1

Submit your design for a Checkpoint feedback:
- Desktop design solutions.
- If you have time - please provide us with a click map for your design.
- Readme.jpg : Provide notes about your submission.
- Make sure all pages have correct flow! Use correct file numbering. (00, 01, 02, 03)

Round 2

Final Design plus any Checkpoint feedback:
- Desktop AND mobile design solutions.
- If you have time - please provide us with a click map for your design.
- Readme.jpg : Provide notes about your submission.
- Make sure all pages have correct flow! Use correct file numbering. (00, 01, 02, 03)

To help states and tribes establish Water Quality Standards, as required by the Clean Water Act (CWA), the EPA publishes Nationally Recommended Water Quality Criteria (NRWQC) for specific pollutants under section 304(a) of the CWA. However, there are many pollutants that are present in surface waters that serve as sources of drinking water, but for which there are no recommended criteria or drinking water standards or health advisories under the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA).

It is resource intensive to develop criteria, and states and tribes have insufficient resources to derive numerical water quality criteria or Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) for all priority chemicals in a timely manner. This makes it very difficult to know whether to allow discharge of many chemicals and/or determine what concentration in the water is safe.

An efficient and centralized data bank for information on potential source water contaminants would inform the development of  water quality criteria (or interpretation of narrative criteria), MCLs, or other target values by states, as well as a variety of additional state and federal programs like EPA’s Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) process.

Goals and Intended Outcomes:
We seek to develop a user-friendly repository for state draft/final ambient water quality criteria, MCLs, other target values, and risk assessments, along with supporting technical documentation, for pollutants with no 304(a) recommended criteria and/or drinking water standards.

This clearinghouse would assist states and tribes in developing ambient water quality criteria, interpreting existing narrative water quality criteria,  and determining target contaminant values to better assess and protect source waters.

We are looking for the [topcoder] design Community to help us with planning our new "user experience" (UX) and designing the UI of the application, a shared data library.

User Requirements:
Use the below information (along with Functionalities and types of information section below) to start mapping out and planning the required screens, user flows, functionality, and features to meet these requirements. We are not making required screens recommendations, but more looking for your concepts and ideas on the best way to break up the functionality and user flow. Make sure you read and understand all of the requirements before starting on your designs. If something is not clear, please ask questions in the forum.

Information Consumers (who will view and use information in the shared library?)
- States and the public will both be able to view information submitted to the tool

Information Contributors (who will populate the shared library?)
- Federal, state, and local authorities will have access to submit data to the library
- The tool will include a user authentication process for data submissions
-- Email authentication
- Tool should have option for sharing data and accessing data (via links) from additional databases, such as:
-- The tool should also link to a listserve (see “format specifications” below) where users can request and share additional data.

Functionalities and types of information:
The tool should focus on contaminants found on the Contaminant Candidate List (CCL) while enabling a wider search for other contaminants that can occur in sources of drinking water, such as those on the CAS Registry. Contaminants from the National Recommended Water Criteria may be linked or retrieved.

For each contaminant, the system should include information on benchmark/threshold values, specifically  human health and aquatic life criteria, and other benchmark values, such as Maximum Contaminant Levels and Health Advisories
- The tool should clearly differentiate user entry points to human health (i.e., drinking water) criteria vs. aquatic life criteria.
- For example, information in the system should be searchable by either 1) contaminant type or 2) criteria type (human health criteria, aquatic life criteria, drinking water MCLs, HAs, benchmarks/guidance values). If a user chooses to search by contaminant type, the system should clearly differentiate human health and aquatic life information for that contaminant.

Key information may include:
- State draft water quality criteria and final criteria (including methodology for deriving criteria). To view an example of state water quality criteria, see the New York Water Quality Standards and Criteria.
- State MCLs, benchmarks, Health Advisories, or guidance values. See California’s MCLs
- State procedures/approaches for addressing a particular contaminant
- Numerical translators for narrative criteria (Health Advisories, maximum contaminant levels, and numeric water quality criteria can all be found as a threshold number (i.e. concentration in water not to exceed x number). However, there is significant supporting documentation to these numbers (risk assessments, health studies, methodologies) that should also be accessible.)
- Links to databases that might inform what states are trying to do
- Contact information for the program manager to relevant state bureau

The system might also retrieve or link to information from:.
- Online open source libraries for scientific literature (links)
- EPA OST website on Nationally Recommended Water Quality Criteria and Health Advisories
- CCL website: for CCL contaminants

Format and Requirements:
The tool should have a very simple, intuitive, user-friendly interface for uploading and finding information

Format for searching information: (This would be the main Dashboard or Landing Page)
- Recommended approach: User can either search or select (checkmark) by 1) contaminant name, CAS Registry number or contaminant group (e.g., “algal toxins” or “perfluorinated compounds”); 2) criteria type selectable by type designation (Maximum Contaminant Level, Health Advisory,  benchmarks/guidance values (numerical value), human health criteria, aquatic life criteria); or (3) state or federal body (e.g., find all criteria a given state has developed for any contaminant).
-- If (1), user may “drill down” into a more refined search by criteria type. If (2) or (3), user may “drill down” into a more refined search by contaminant type.
- Under each contaminant, the tool will show a list of federal, state, etc. criteria (or benchmarks, HA. etc.)  in a dropdown menu (e.g., states who have submitted will be listed in dropdown menu)

Format for submitting information:
Think of the best way to break the information up to make the form as easy to use and as streamlined as possible.
- User uploads information by filling out a form with the following required fields:
-- Contaminant name (dropdown menu to suggest standardized contaminant names and groups).
-- Category of information (i.e., dropdown menu for MCLs, HAs, benchmarks/guidance values, human health criteria, aquatic life criteria)—information nested hierarchically inside search categories.
- Technical support documents attached (including information on contaminant occurrence and health effects, or links to databases with these details)
- Date of information (e.g., date draft criteria completed)
- State or Tribe
- Organization/Department
- Name and contact information
-- Note: Only people from the same state as the original contributor can edit or delete a submission from that contributor.

Format for displaying information:
This is where we are looking for your expert UX skills and UI design concepts. The display of the information should meet and/or consider the follow criteria:
- How should the info from the list above be displayed?
- Which fields should respond first to a given search?
- The tools will not show any/all info at once—consider nested display of fields based on importance to audience.

Additional Resources:
Definitions Doc: This will serve as great background information on specific terms and language used within the spec. Make sure you are using these terms, abbreviations, and language in your designs. This is the how the EPA refers to items and we should retain that.

- Branding is open, however your color usage and contrast ratios should be carefully accessed.
- Make sure your web app remains clean and modern, and more importantly, extremely easy to use and understand
- Follow common and expected UI flows and mechanics. Use industry standard best design practices.

Screen Requirements:
Your solution needs to use Responsive Design technique and common practices. Make sure you use vector shapes and assets as much as possible to guarantee crisp files when resizing.
- Desktop: 1280px width (height can expand to fit content).
- Mobile (iPhone 6): 750px by 1334px (Portrait orientation).

Target Audience:
- State regulators
- Organization leaders
- General public

Judging Criteria:
- Concepts and ideas presented.
- Overall UI design and layouts.
- How well the UX follows modern flows and current best practices
- User friendly and easy to understand
- Responsive design across desktop and mobile sizes

Submissions & Source Files:
Preview Image
Please create your preview image as one (1) 1024x1024px JPG or PNG file in RGB color mode at 72dpi and place a screenshot of your submission within it.

Submission File
Submit JPG/PNG for your submission files. Make sure you are labeling and numbering your files in the correct order. Example: 01FileName.png, 02FileName.png, 03aFileName.png, 03bFileName.png, etc.

Source Files
All original source files of the submitted design. Files should be created in Adobe Photoshop and saved as layered PSD files.

Final Fixes:
As part of the final fixes phase you may be asked to modify your graphics (sizes or colors) or modify overall colors. We may ask you to update your design or graphics based on checkpoint feedback. See more information about Final Fixes

Please read the challenge specification carefully and watch the forums for any questions or feedback concerning this challenge. It is important that you monitor any updates provided by the client or Studio Admins in the forums. Please post any questions you might have for the client in the forums.

How To Submit

  • New to Studio? ‌Learn how to compete here
  • Upload your submission in three parts (Learn more here). Your design should be finalized and should contain only a single design concept (do not include multiple designs in a single submission).
  • If your submission wins, your source files must be correct and “Final Fixes” (if applicable) must be completed before payment can be released.
  • You may submit as many times as you'd like during the submission phase, but only the number of files listed above in the Submission Limit that you rank the highest will be considered. You can change the order of your submissions at any time during the submission phase. If you make revisions to your design, please delete submissions you are replacing.

Winner Selection

Submissions are viewable to the client as they are entered into the challenge. Winners are selected by the client and are chosen solely at the client's discretion.


2016 TopCoder(R) Open

Challenge links

Screening Scorecard

Submission format

Your Design Files:

  1. Look for instructions in this challenge regarding what files to provide.
  2. Place your submission files into a "" file.
  3. Place all of your source files into a "" file.
  4. Declare your fonts, stock photos, and icons in a "Declaration.txt" file.
  5. Create a JPG preview file.
  6. Place the 4 files you just created into a single zip file. This will be what you upload.

Trouble formatting your submission or want to learn more? ‌Read the FAQ.

Fonts, Stock Photos, and Icons:

All fonts, stock photos, and icons within your design must be declared when you submit. DO NOT include any 3rd party files in your submission or source files. Read about the policy.


All submissions are screened for eligibility before the challenge holder picks winners. Don't let your hard work go to waste. Learn more about how to  pass screening.

Challenge links

Questions? ‌Ask in the Challenge Discussion Forums.

Source files

  • Layered PSD files created in Adobe Photoshop or similar
  • AI files created in Adobe Illustrator or similar

You must include all source files with your submission.

Submission limit

5 submissions

ID: 30053776